Bullen was a crucial player on the band’s feverish 1987 debut Scum, but left the group before they started making real commercial headway. He’s now firmly entrenched in Birmingham’s experimental music scene; post-Napalm Death projects include work with Mick Harris’ throbbing Scorn outfit and the post-rock alias Adventure.
Over 25 years since that first Napalm Death release, Bullen is primed to release his debut solo LP through Type. Component Fixations will offer “tape manipulations, drones and noise” spread over three long-form tracks. The album promises a synthesis of Bullen’s influences, with a particular emphasis on the electronic pioneers of the 1960s. Intriguingly, all the sounds on the record were directly sourced from field recordings made around Bullen’s house and garden – take that, Herbert.
Type surpass themselves with this incredible solo debut of visceral electro-acoustic and concrète composition by Birmingham's OG extremist, Nik Bullen. Since starting Napalm Death aged 13 with Miles Ratledge and subsequently coining the Grindcore genre with their debut album 'Scum' in 1986 (at which point he left the group), Nik has tended to a key role in his home city's experimental music scene over the last quarter century to arrive at an aesthetic hardly recognisable from his original work, yet intrinsically connected by its uncompromising intent. Crafted entirely from sounds taken off field recordings made around his house and garden, and processed through tape and computer manipulation, his solo debut proper, 'Component Fixtures' is, as John Twells ov Type puts it, "a work which absolutely represents him as an artist both visually and aurally". Decomposing and corrupting his immediate and private environment over two extended tracks, Bullen presents sounds which reference the '60s avant garde - Xenakis, Parmegiani or Schaeffer - yet manifest a much more personal sonic manifesto, whose ostensibly electronic product mask a searching and ultimately human spirit. Coupled with the cover artwork - stills from Nik's film 'The Inverse Heliograph' - we're privy to the internal confines of a white hot mind which has irrevocably altered the planet's musical landscape. It's an album that slowly creeps up on you, drawing you in with subtle shifts and occasional sonic extremeties that will engross those of you who appreciate the works of GRM, Eleh or Eliane Radigue. - bomkat